Zika: The Emerging Epidemic tells the story of the mosquito-borne virus from its emergence in Africa to the current health crisis in the South and Central Americas. It is a compact, fast-paced, journalistic book, and it does an excellent job of covering multiple facets of its subject both thoroughly and concisely. The average reader will find it interesting and readable.
I enjoyed how the author weaved his experiences as a journalist covering Zika (the back copy says he covers “plagues and pestilences for the New York Times“) into the story of the virus’ emergence, the discovery of the link between the virus and brain damage in fetuses, and the reactions of the public, governments, and health agencies of different countries. The relation of his phone and email conversations with various contacts in the scientific and public health communities gave the story a dramatic element, which it hardly needed but which helped lend momentum to the narrative.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about Zika virus, or who is interested in viruses and the natural history of disease.
- Title: Zika: The emerging epidemic
- Author: Donald G. McNeil, Jr.
- Date published: June 28, 2016
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
- Format: Paperback, 208 pages
- My Source: Public Library